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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tips for a safe Thanksgiving meal

SBCDPH-logoWith any holiday food preparation, safe food handling and storage are important to keep your loved ones safe. Follow these helpful tips to prepare a safe Thanksgiving meal for your family.

• Handling and Thawing.  Always wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds before and after handling the turkey. Fresh turkeys need no thawing and are ready to cook. Frozen turkeys can be purchased weeks in advance, but can require several days to thaw before cooking. If you are planning on purchasing a frozen turkey, first make sure there is sufficient space in your freezer for storage.

• Never defrost the turkey on the counter! The safest way to thaw a turkey is in the refrigerator. Leave the turkey in the original packaging and place in a shallow pan and allow refrigerator thawing time at a rate of 4 to 5 pounds per 24 hours.

• Time to cook. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze. If you purchase a fresh turkey, cook it within a day or two of purchase. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone, and cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast as well.  Cook stuffing separately in a casserole pan to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F or higher.  If you cook stuffing in the turkey, ensure that the turkey and stuffing both reach 165°F or higher.

• Storing leftovers safely.  Within two hours, store leftover turkey in shallow containers and put them in the refrigerator or freezer. Use cooked leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy within 3 to 4 days. When using leftovers, reheat the foods thoroughly to 165°F and bring gravy to a boil before serving.

For more information, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at


Calico Ghost Town Holiday Fest begins Friday

Christmas Wreath on Red DoorThe Holiday Fest at Calico Ghost Town begins Friday, November 29. It is the perfect way to spend the day after Thanksgiving enjoying cultural events in an Old West mining town away from crowded malls.

Visitors will be treated to Native American dancing, gunfights, old fashioned children’s games and more.

Calico has shops with unique gift ideas for family and friends. Spend $75 at the shops and receive a free collectible Calico bear or pony.

The Holiday Fest will run from November 29 through December 1, 2013, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Calico Ghost Town, off I-15 and Ghost Town Road in Yermo.


Expungements, record sealing and certificates of rehabilitation available

PD logo finalThe San Bernardino County Public Defender will be providing information for expungements, record sealing and certificates of rehabilitation from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on November 27 at a Health and Wellness Expo being held at Sewell Park in Fontana.

Some individuals who are not eligible to petition the court to set aside a conviction pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4 or 1203.4a may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation (COR), which is a court order that a person convicted of a felony is now rehabilitated. If the COR is granted, it becomes an application that is forwarded to the governor for a pardon. The governor may grant or deny the pardon.

Once a person has completed the required period of rehabilitation, a person may file for a COR in his/her current county of residence.

Public Defender staff assists individuals with becoming productive and positive members of the community by clearing criminal convictions through a process that is often referred to as an expungement.

Qualifying individuals seeking to clear their criminal records will submit a petition to the court pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4 or 1203.4a. The petition must be filed in the county where the conviction originated. In other words, San Bernardino courts will only handle petitions on San Bernardino County convictions. If the court grants the petition, the guilty plea is withdrawn and replaced with a not guilty plea, and then the court subsequently dismisses the case.

The court’s act of granting the petition does not destroy the court’s record of conviction. However, it may assist individuals with obtaining employment or registering for school. This is just one aspect of our holistic approach towards rehabilitation and reintegration in a way that benefits the community.

Forms can be located at under the Community Outreach section or questions can be answered at the event.

For more information visit the Public Defender’s website at or call (909) 382-3950.

Adoption finalization celebrates families, record number of siblings adopted

Amanda and Avi Bloom

Amanda and Avi Bloom

A record number of brothers and sisters were among nearly 100 children who celebrated their adoptions during the San Bernardino County Children and Family Services (CFS) Adoption Finalization event held Thursday at the Ontario Convention Center. The adoptions of the 22 sets of siblings marked the most sets of siblings adopted at the annual event.
This year’s theme “Viva Las Familias,” described what adoption is all about. Some of the families adopted between two and five children from the same family.
CFS Director Randall Schulz credits the many sibling adoptions to the department’s commitment to keep brothers and sisters together. CFS facilitates nearly 200 adoptions per year. This year, families came from throughout California and as far away as Oregon to finalize adoptions. All of the children at the event have been living with their caregivers, relatives or prospective adoptive parents for some time.
“We have many children, from toddlers to teenagers, in our care who aren’t able to safely return home,” said Randall L. Schulz, Director of CFS. “It’s very exciting know so many families in our community are willing to give their love to our kids by making them a part of their family through the life-long commitment of adoption.”
The families legally united in ceremonies performed by San Bernardino County judges:  the Honorable Christopher B. Marshall, Juvenile Court Presiding Judge, who spoke at the event; Honorable Cheryl C. Kersey; Judge of the Superior Court, Honorable Lily L. Sinfield, Judge of the Superior Court and the Honorable Lynn M. Poncin, Judge of the Superior Court.
In addition to making their child(ren) legally part of their family, families enjoyed lunch, children’s activities and photo opportunities.
The event also featured the CFS Heart Gallery in conjunction with Heart Gallery of America, Inc. The Heart Gallery features photos of children with special needs who are in need of committed families that can meet their special needs and provide the security of a loving family. (For more information, please contact the Heart Gallery at (909) 891-3300 or by email at:
Children and Family Services provides family-centered programs and services designed to ensure safety, permanence, and well-being for San Bernardino County’s children, while strengthening and attempting to preserve the family unit. Children and Family Services helps prevent further harm to children from intentional physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, exploitation, or neglect by a person responsible for a child’s health or welfare.

For more information about adoption or foster care, contact San Bernardino County Children and Family Services at 1-800-722-4477 or (909) 891-3300 or access our website at

Turkeys and fixings donated to foster youth by Public Defender

tdaydonationsThe Office of the Public Defender collected more than $500 in groceries for CASA, a nonprofit organization serving foster youth and juvenile offenders throughout San Bernardino County.

Four 15-pound turkeys, two hams, Thanksgiving-themed plates, utensils and other fixings were collected for CASA’s Thanksgiving event which is expected to serve 35-45 foster youth and staff. The Public Defender’s office also collected $400 in cash and grocery store gift cards to supplement the event.

In San Bernardino County, there are approximately 5,400 children and youth living in foster care.

Reserve your spot at Santa’s pajama parties

santahatSanta will visit families at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands at two pajama parties, Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. A third pajama party is scheduled for the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley on Saturday, December 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Advance reservations are required for each party.

Pick one evening to bring your family to play holiday games, hear holiday stories, make winter crafts, have refreshments, visit with some live animals, and have a photo op with Santa. You can wear your pajamas and bring your favorite teddy bear to keep you company. Please arrive by 6 p.m. to enjoy the whole party.

“Families love this program and return year after year,” said Jolene Redvale, curator of education. “Our relaxed, seasonal atmosphere gives everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s company while they take part in long-held holiday traditions including story time, snacking, craft-making and, best of all, the thrill of talking to Santa Claus himself.”

Cost is $10 per person. Under age 1 is free with paid adult. Each admission includes all holiday crafts and activities, a chat with Santa, and refreshments. Space is limited and fills quickly—only reservations with payment received by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4, will be eligible to register for either party at the museum in Redlands. Reservations must be received by Thursday, December 12 for the event at the Victor Valley Museum. No payments will be accepted at Santa’s PJ Party, and the museum is unable to give refunds for this program. Call (909) 798-8611 with questions about the Redlands events or (760) 241-2111 for the Victor Valley Museum party. Registration forms are available at the museums or on-line at

Public Defender’s Office helps raise $9,000 at charity golf tournament

GolfThe Public Defender’s Office co-sponsored the fourth annual CASA golf tournament at the Tukwet Canyon Golf Course in Beaumont to help raise money for two local organizations, San Bernardino CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and Enhancing Forward Action.

Golfers and volunteers showed up to show their support, by way of paying for a day of golf or purchasing raffle tickets for prizes donated by local businesses and individuals.

The October 25 event raised an amazing $9,000.00. Members of the public defender’s office played an integral role in planning and soliciting donations and golfers for the event. The Public Defender’s Office alone had 19 members from all job classifications, either volunteering at the event or participating as golfers.

Fossil trilobite lecture at Victor Valley Museum

TrilobiteKathleen Springer, senior curator of geological sciences at the San Bernardino County Museum, will lecture on “Trilobites: Friend or Foe?” at the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley on Sunday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m. The lecture is included with paid museum admission.

Trilobites are an incredibly opportunistic and diverse group of arthropods that inhabited the shallow seas of the Paleozoic Era worldwide, including San Bernardino County. Their beginning was 542 million years ago in the lower Cambrian Period and they continued to prowl the oceans until their untimely demise at the end of the Permian 251 million years ago – a fate they met along with 90% of all organisms on Earth.

“Trilobites are such a great group to teach about—their form, their biology and their distribution globally,” said Springer, “especially those that we find right here in our backyard!”

The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669.

Weddings by the numbers

Wedding-ImageDennis Draeger, San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, reported a significant increase in marriage activity on Tuesday primarily due to the sequential date of 11-12-13.  County Clerk staff performed 50 civil marriage ceremonies on that day, which is a 194% increase over the typical daily average of 17 ceremonies performed.  A recent repetitive date that generated an increase in civil marriage ceremonies was 12-12-12, on which 81 ceremonies were performed, a 376% increase. Draeger said there is no anecdotal evidence to explain this phenomena, but men probably pick these calendrical rarities because they are easy anniversary dates to remember.  Another traditionally busy day for the County Clerk is Valentine’s day.  The next sequential date is 12-13-14.

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